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Barreling as a Bluff Postflop From Out of Position

Jonathan Little
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  • @JonathanLittle analyzes a hand from a $10,000 WPT event that finds him bluffing with ace-high.

  • A preflop squeeze leads to postflop barrel-bluffing in this hand played by @JonathanLittle.

This week's hand comes from a $10,000 buy-in World Poker Tour event. It occurred relatively early in the tournament when the stacks were deep, and involves me making a "squeeze" reraise from the blinds preflop, then facing having to play from out of position after having missed the flop.

With the blinds 75/150 and effective stacks around 30,000, an older player min-raised to 300 from the hijack and got two callers from the button and small blind. I then looked down at {A-Diamonds}{3-Clubs} in the big blind — not a very good hand, but not so bad to call with in this situation.

However, as I explain in the video below I like reraising sometimes with this kind of hand in this spot, especially early in a tournament, because {A-Diamonds}{3-Clubs} isn't going to play very well after the flop in a multi-way situation. I made a reraise to 1,700 and only the original raiser called.

There was 4,000 in the middle, and the flop came {J-Hearts}{10-Spades}{4-Diamonds}, missing my hand completely. With the flop bringing two high cards, I had to decide if I should continue with the bluff and barrel off or give up and check-fold.

Take a look and see what I decided to do, and listen to my reasons for continuing as the hand proceeds to the river:

After betting the flop and getting called, the turn brought another big card and I faced the same decision again. Would you be willing to fire again here? And if called on the turn, would you bet again on the river as a bluff?

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,500,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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